R2-D2, Busboy: A Fresh Look at Robots as a Staffing Support Solution in Senior Living

In senior living, staffing challenges have been exacerbated by COVID-19, and they remain the top-of-mind concern for community leaders. McKnight’s Senior Living reports that robotics, an already growing trend, can be adapted to help solve staffing shortages. Companies like Direct Supply Innovation and Technology had catered to customers who needed the robots for fall prevention and medication management. But since the devastating effects of COVID-19 have wreaked havoc on employment, robot suppliers are seeing their demand change to staffing concerns and infection control. These companies believe robots can take on tasks that human staff normally would spend time on, but which may not be adding value to resident care.

In practice, senior living communities are using robots in places like the dining rooms. These robots work as food runners, which then gives human employees a chance to spend more time with residents and take on more complex responsibilities in the culinary department. Not only does this help residents and employees, but it also has a budget sensitive aspect: the robots resulted in operational savings by reducing hours per week for human employees, which then is reinvested into increasing wages.

Companies that create these robots are always keeping in mind how to improve the robots and the data analytics, with hopes to adapt robot use to other fields as well. They believe that robots can be used in human resources especially (contracts, surveys, audits, etc.). In this sense, community leaders are calling the integration of robots in senior living as something that has downstream benefits for resident care.


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Bonvissuto, K. (2022). Robotics, automation can help solve staffing, efficiency challenges: panelists. McKnight’s Senior Living. https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/robotics-automation-can-help-solve-staffing-efficiency-challenges-panelists/


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